Tag Archives: balcony

Planting Bulbs

Earlier this summer I bought these rad flower pots (yes, rad) and then went crazy and lined our whole balcony rail with them. Since then, they’ve been empty, but as fall was approaching, I decided to plant bulbs in all the pots to enjoy next spring.Planting bulbs in the autumn is something my father always does, so I was reminded of him a lot as I dug all the holes for the bulbs.I am still not sure how well bulbs will do in pots instead of ground soil, but I tried to buy bulbs that matched the depth of soil in my pots.The red dot on the packs also says “also for balconies and pots”, so I am hoping they are happy bulbs. Our balcony is pretty sheltered from wind in the courtyard, so they shouldn’t freeze too much.
I couldn’t buy exactly the kind my Dad gets because he plants deeper in the ground, but I did manage to find some varieties that are close to his daffodils.We’ll see what happens!

Have you ever planted flower bulbs? How did they turn out?

Funny flower pots

So, I found these really cool flower pots at Migros and they kind of persuaded me to buy a bunch of flowers to fill them up with. Yes, the flower pots told me to. Shhh.

Sigh, I fall for flowers every time.

I chose all my mixes based on what is supposed to do well with a LOT of sun, because that’s what this balcony gets. Also, preferably not daily watering. I’m a little lazy, y’all. 😉

I also chose some roses to add into the mix since the climbing roses have done so well from last year.

Now, onto the pots. These are for the banisters and they are different in that they kind of sit like a saddle on top of a banister, so you don’t have that sad probably of a wobbly, slanted hanging basket that I always had with our other row pots.

Plus, look at the cool colors they come in! Lime green and purple! Those are OUR colors! 😉

My roses are still going crazy. I’m really loving them. 🙂

View from the banister below to the courtyard.

 Yup, good purchase here.

The only problem is that they only fill up like a smidgen of our terrace. I could seriously buy like twenty more of these pots to fill the whole banister.

Right now I set them on the side next to my flower area so that I can see them from the kitchen window, and that makes me happy. 🙂

Also, check out my gorgeous roses over here. I am really in love!

We’ve had a lot of thunderstorm nights lately, but it’s great to finally be enjoying the balcony at summer again.

A warm night with a caipirinha on the terrace… ahhh.

What parts of summer are you loving so far?

April Garden

Happy Swiss labor day everyone!

I’m excited that my cilantro seeds are actually sprouting! Last year I tried to start them in a pot outside, but I think that I did not keep them moist enough, so they dried out and sort of burned in the sun. Oops.

But not this year! Look at them!

I don’t think the sage likes having the tree bark around it. Whenever I use this bark in pots, it seems to kill whatever plant is there. It must be messing with the Ph or acidity levels too much. But I don’t know enough about horticulture to know why exactly.

Oregano is looking good.

As is the starter cilantro plant.

I planted my starter parsley in the same box as our bamboo and it seems like it is competing with the bamboo. The bamboo in there has not gone totally crazy, so I thought there should still be room for some other things to flourish, but it might be too difficult for the parsley.

Rosemary doing fine in a pot on top of the bamboo box.

Not sure I put enough soil on the basil, it’s kinda flopping already. I’m a little too lazy to re-pot it though this late.

The thyme probably needs moved out of the sun and rain.

The lavender is going nuts in its little corner of its box, next to the clematis, which looks like it’s also doing all right after being planted last summer.

I think these are my tomato seeds sprouting.

…and these should be my… lettuce? I forget which pot this photo is from. 🙂

So, that’s about where things are at this point. Kay’s been walking around the balcony pulling weeds because he gets nervous that they will destroy the roof of the flat below our balcony.

I’ve also been rearranging garden furniture, but I’m not quite happy with it. I always seem to try a new setup each year. We’ll see what I settle on for 2015.

How is your garden doing?

Breaking our brand new retractable awnings

During our first days back at work after the move, Kay noticed that from the hours of 6-8pm (you know, when we get home from work) the retractable awnings were doing close to nothing to shade us while we tried to eat on our balcony.

The sun was setting and covering the already sun-baked tiles in a blaze of fiery light. And that perturbed Kay as he tried to eat his dinners and lay in his hammock.

It bothered him so much that in our first full work week in the flat, he brought home tools from work to try and turn the awnings at a lower angle so that they would block out more sun. This involved a lot of lifting (on my part) and cursing on Kay’s part.

It was easy to lower the first side, but he was having trouble making the awnings lay straight. They were lopsided. Kay went to fix the awning on the right and he could not for the life of him get the awning to lower. And this all happened to be during the sunniest time on the balcony.

Meanwhile, my arms were getting incredibly sore and I was increasingly frustrated that we were spending time messing with the awnings and possibly, very expensively, breaking them instead of spending time organizing our very messy new home. We were both really worried that Kay had somehow broken them.

We left them lopsided for the evening and went to bed defeated.

Below you can actually see that the flats above us have awnings that come out and then flip down to really block the sun coming in. They didn’t do them like this on the big terrace level because we obviously have a lot more walking area, but we were a little envious of our smaller-balcony neighbors enjoying a shady dinner.

After a few days and some more calls to the awning business that told Kay this was an “easy fix” he figured out how it worked to fix the awnings. We got one side down as low as we wanted, but by then it was too dark to see if the shade was worth the cost of not being able to walk under the awning anymore.

We waited another day until I took these pictures and you could see that the shade below is a lot more than it was before, where it was almost non-existent. But to Kay, it still wasn’t enough shade and having to duck under the awning in the middle of the balcony was a huge waste of terrace real estate.

So you know what we did? We got back out there and put the awnings back up to their original spots. (Ugh, more lifting… I’m such a weenie!)

I stood there holding the awnings, my arms burning… wondering why we did anything in the first place, but some things you don’t figure out until you try them out.

It took awhile, but we got both awnings level with each other again. They are still great during the daytime, but it’s clear that with our “sunny balcony” we will have to invest in some other sun blocking solution elsewhere on the balcony so that we can enjoy some shadier dinners. And thankfully we didn’t really break the awnings. I don’t want to imagine how much they would have cost to repair or replace.

And you won’t find me complaining about how sunny it is… I’m glad for it! And I’m sure we will appreciate the sun more when the temperatures dip down lower towards the autumn. It will make the balcony more useable during the year than otherwise.

Did you ever have any big “Why did we do that??” moments with house projects?